It also means the tree had the capacity to control its production of figs. In this case, we see that Jesus understood the tree was not producing figs out of choice. He therefore chastised the tree.
We must accept this conclusion unless we want to propose that Jesus was irrational or crazy. Would he have been speaking to someone who was not there, and speaking as if the tree had the choice to produce figs?
But since Jesus was addressing the tree directly, and not happy the tree did not produce figs, we know Jesus accepted that the tree contained a living spirit-person or living soul.
The human form of life is the highest form on this planet. It is the form from which the spirit-person can utilize to grow out of our self-centered consciousness and return and back home to God after the death of this body - assuming there is the desire, and assuming we have re-developed our relationship with God. Should the spiritual individual decide not to return to God, we may be condemned to a hellish existence within the lower forms of life - such as the body of a fig tree. Or even a dog or a cat.
"Or is it not more in conformity with reason, that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons is introduced into a body, and introduced according to its deserts and former actions? It is probable, therefore, that this soul also, which conferred more benefit by its former residence in the flesh than that of many men (to avoid prejudice, I do not say "all"), stood in need of a body not only superior to others, but invested with all excellent qualities." (Against Celsus, I.32)Following the Synods of Nicene (325 AD and later) and the subsequent "takeover" of Christian teachings by Constantine and the Roman empire (as their interpretation of Christianity became the "official" religion of the Romans, and the Romans eliminated any teaching that contradicted their interpretation), the Roman-ruled Church eventually banned Origen's teachings, and his some 6,000 writings - once revered by many devoted Christians - were destroyed.
This is why Paul, reflecting upon the prevailing teachings of Jesus, stated:
"I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." (1 Cor 15:50)
"Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.... So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." (2 Cor 5:6 and 5:9)
(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Book of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus - translated from the original Greek texts.)